WI Dairy News: Sustainable Dairy Farming - WQOW TV: Eau Claire, WI NEWS18 News, Weather, and Sports

WI Dairy News: Sustainable Dairy Farming

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MADISON (WKOW) -- Farmers don't usually set out to win awards, but when Mark Petersen was recognized for outstanding sustainable farming practices he was richly rewarded for it!

"Small farms can be sustainable as well as big ones," said Petersen. "I think everybody should share the passion for the environment and the community that sustainability is all about no matter what size you are."

Petersen's farm is located less than a quarter mile from Appleton North High School. Managing an urban farm means implementing strategic plans to forge good relations with neighbors.

The Petersens work with the community to hold paper drives, providing newspapers for the cows' bedding. Compost is then created by combining the bedding with cow manure. The compost is sold to neighbors for their gardens and to landscaping companies that use it as fertilizer for grass.

The Petersens also work hard to control erosion by using zone tillage to plant crops. Because only one tillage pass is made in the fall, the farm saves somewhere in the neighborhood of $30-$40 an acre in fuel costs. This farming practice helps lower soil erosion and phosphorus losses by more than 75%.

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